Americans United Youth Activist Award

Each year, Americans United for Separation of Church and State recognizes a young person who has advocated for religious freedom and church-state separation in their community. Americans United will present the 2017 Youth Activist Award at its Annual Meeting in the fall in Washington, DC. and the youth activist will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship prize. To be considered for this award, please share you story in the form below. You must be 25 years of age or younger. If you are considered as a finalist for the AU Youth Activist Award, we will contact you directly.

Tell Us Your Story

Sharing your story is a powerful way to speak out for religious freedom and stand up to those who use religion to harm others. Your story can bring about real change by inspiring other people to speak out and help Americans United continue to grow the movement to safeguard church-state separation.

Tell us about a time when you stood up for the separation of church and state. Was someone using religion as an excuse to discriminate against you or someone else? Was your public school promoting religion or requiring students to take part in religious activities? What happened? What obstacles did you face?

Previous AU Youth Activist Award Winners



Zack Kopplin ran a campaign through his website, RepealCreationism, to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act, which has been described by the international science community as a creationism law.



Douglas Ciampi , with the help of Americans United, persuaded officials at his high school to replace the baccalaureate with an “evening of reflection.” The new event turned out to be less expensive and more popular than the religious service.

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Magdalene Bedi sued her school, Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood, Miss., after the school held Christian assemblies sponsored by Pinelake Baptist Church.


Kace Echo found out that his school began and ended its graduation ceremonies with prayers. He opposed the invocations, and brought his complaint to Americans United. The school agreed to end the practice.


Jessica Ahlquist garnered national attention when she successfully challenged the display of a large prayer banner at her public high school in West Cranston, R.I.


Corwyn Schultz served as a plaintiff in an Americans United-sponsored lawsuit challenging school-sponsored prayers during graduation ceremonies.